cold shower valve does not fully shut off water

Old 09-05-07, 07:54 PM
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cold shower valve does not fully shut off water

My neighbor called and I looked at her shower valve (admittedly a low end brand less than 5 years old). Currently she has the cold water shut off which affects 2 tenants below until she can resolve this as there is no local shut-off. They explained the problem like this:
"When we went to shut off the shower (2 separate handles) the hot shut off fine but the cold water handle when turned to the fully off position only slowed down the water flow from the spigot. It is estimated that 60 percent of the flow stopped. The water would not shut off"

I looked at the handles. The hot side handle came off with a screw into the stem and inside you can see some brass colored nut. It looks like you need a special tool to make any kind of adjustment to this nut at the base of the stem. The handle on the cold side would not come off. It is stuck (yes the screw is removed). The cold handle still turns but I can't see if it is turning the stem. I was hesitant to try to remove the handle with force as I didn't want to make it worse. She put liquid wrench on to try to loosen it. Even if we got the handle off, what could we do? They said the water slowed when turned off, so does that mean it is not seating fully? Is that brass colored nut some kind of adjustment/did it merely just loosen over time? Is this a job for a plumber?
Old 09-05-07, 08:53 PM
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probably just a job for a few new stems and seats. the hardest part of this job will probably be getting the handle off. you'll need a set of deep sockets for removing the shower stems, they're also called "cow bells". i think a set of them is something like 15 bucks at any hardware store. you'll also need a set of seat wrenches, about 15 bucks also. don't be afraid to cut the handle off of the stem with a hacksaw/dremel/grinder/chainsaw. it has to come off to get the sockets on the stem. if the stems are made of brass, and the trim is "basic" looking hopefully this is a price pfister valve. parts are super easy to find and cheap.


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